Women's Hidden Heart Attack Signs

Heart attack is generally regarded as a "man’s" disease. This is not true.

Women are also at a high risk of a heart attack, particularly in the years leading up to and years after menopause, when hormonal changes are at its peak and can usher in heart disease.

Recognizing the symptoms that women experience usually during the early and late stages of cardiac problems, and knowing your risk factors for heart disease can increase your chances of survival.

Subtle heart attack symptoms

A study on women’s cardiac events showed that many women may experience early symptoms of cardiac distress in the days, weeks or months before their heart attack.

Regrettably, these symptoms were usually ignored because women did not consider it unusual to experience them.

Take for instance fatigue and sleep disturbances. These two are actually early symptoms of heart attack. But, women would consider a number of other reasons ranging from menopausal symptoms to work-related stress as the culprit/s behind their fatigue and sleep disturbances. Heart disease or heart attack might not even cross the mind of some women.

Unusual fatigue – fatigue is a common experience. Fatigue may be a signal for lack of sleep, that your body is fighting a virus, or that you are experiencing a side effect to medication. However, a recent study discovered that more than 70 percent of the women surveyed reported experiencing "marked" fatigue in the days or weeks leading to their heart attacks.

Sleep disturbances – it is also not uncommon to experience sleep disturbances, especially after a long week or month. However, women should pay special attention to unusual or prolonged disturbance in their sleep patterns. A recent study showed that nearly half of the women who suffered a heart attack lately, reported experiencing sleep disturbances days or weeks before their attacks.

Other early and subtle heart attack symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath during regular daily activities
  • indigestion
  • anxiety

How to tell if it’s a heart attack symptom

Experts suggest writing down you usual aches and pains. You can also include your usual reactions to foods. You may also write down you regular activities and your common reactions to those. This way, you will be able to tell if something unusual is going on.

Also, if you have risk factors of heart disease, you should really keep close tabs on your feelings. If you experience worrisome or uncommon changes in your energy and/or comfort levels or sleep habits, see your doctor.

Women with heart risk factors which include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a sedentary lifestyle, a smoking habit, diabetes, or obesity should pay especially close attention to how they feel and talk with their health care provider immediately to rule out heart distress.

Source: RealAge